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Author Topic: Sample Sonosax recordings of classical music?  (Read 20158 times)

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Offline grawk

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Re: Sample Sonosax recordings of classical music?
« Reply #30 on: December 07, 2023, 07:58:39 PM »
Sonosax - the "24k gold plated HDMI cable" of field recorders... Just can't bring myself to drink the Kool aid, even when someone as wise and experienced as Gutbucket has told us repeatedly that we should.

pretty harsh criticism. What makes you think sonosax is overrated?
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Sample Sonosax recordings of classical music?
« Reply #31 on: December 07, 2023, 08:04:20 PM »
Sonosax - the "24k gold plated HDMI cable" of field recorders... Just can't bring myself to drink the Kool aid, even when someone as wise and experienced as Gutbucket has told us repeatedly that we should.

pretty harsh criticism. What makes you think sonosax is overrated?
Agreed. Have you ever used any of their gear, or listened to recordings made using them? All of the professional recording engineers I've spoken to rank their preamps in the top echelon, along with Pueblo Audio.
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Offline gaijin

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Re: Sample Sonosax recordings of classical music?
« Reply #32 on: December 07, 2023, 08:50:01 PM »
My point is WAY overstated for sure, but is such a conclusion the wrong one to derive when looking things like the results of that comp and practical listening experience?  If something is theoretically orders of magnitude better but upon measured, critical analysis proves to be only nominally better (or anecdotally worse as was the case in that comp), can we really all continue to stand around and go "wow, that Sonosax is amazing; best in class!"... I'm more of a realist / brass tacks kind of guy.


Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: Sample Sonosax recordings of classical music?
« Reply #33 on: December 07, 2023, 08:52:16 PM »
Sonosax - the "24k gold plated HDMI cable" of field recorders... Just can't bring myself to drink the Kool aid, even when someone as wise and experienced as Gutbucket has told us repeatedly that we should.

pretty harsh criticism. What makes you think sonosax is overrated?
Agreed. Have you ever used any of their gear, or listened to recordings made using them? All of the professional recording engineers I've spoken to rank their preamps in the top echelon, along with Pueblo Audio.
kindms is using a sonosax sxm2d2 and the results with the exact same microphones vs their past use with the Grace V2/V3 are more detailed with a more balanced low end, to my ears. 
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Offline gaijin

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Re: Sample Sonosax recordings of classical music?
« Reply #34 on: December 07, 2023, 09:05:41 PM »
Sonosax - the "24k gold plated HDMI cable" of field recorders... Just can't bring myself to drink the Kool aid, even when someone as wise and experienced as Gutbucket has told us repeatedly that we should.

pretty harsh criticism. What makes you think sonosax is overrated?
Agreed. Have you ever used any of their gear, or listened to recordings made using them? All of the professional recording engineers I've spoken to rank their preamps in the top echelon, along with Pueblo Audio.

Both used and listened...does it feel like a top quality machine...absolutely.  Would someone as experienced as you or certainly most listeners be able to accurately identify it vs. even an Zoom product?  Especially with post work?  I'm willing to go pretty heavy in that the answer to that is going to be no.  There are comps to back that up. 

I'm also reminded of a couple of top tier "professional engineers" that couldn't get over the PCM-D1's "best as it is ever gonna get" ADCs and signal path.  I own one, with an XLR-1.  I've recorded 100s of shows on one.  I A/B comped most of those shows with the same mics and my brother running a D50.  After years of listening to those recordings and trying to hear what other's told me I'm missing with professional IEMs, monitors, etc., I am an convinced there is no discernable consistent difference.  The transition to digital rendered most of this "gotta have the absolute best preamp and signal path" null and void. 

Offline gaijin

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Re: Sample Sonosax recordings of classical music?
« Reply #35 on: December 07, 2023, 09:10:03 PM »
Sonosax - the "24k gold plated HDMI cable" of field recorders... Just can't bring myself to drink the Kool aid, even when someone as wise and experienced as Gutbucket has told us repeatedly that we should.

pretty harsh criticism. What makes you think sonosax is overrated?
Agreed. Have you ever used any of their gear, or listened to recordings made using them? All of the professional recording engineers I've spoken to rank their preamps in the top echelon, along with Pueblo Audio.
kindms is using a sonosax sxm2d2 and the results with the exact same microphones vs their past use with the Grace V2/V3 are more detailed with a more balanced low end, to my ears.

Absolutely believe, appreciate, and value the observation, but my point is it's not consistent with the wider body of evidence as it applies to "most" humans.  When those gold plated HDMI cables were out, there were lots of people who could absolutely see the visual improvements it made too...

Offline grawk

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Re: Sample Sonosax recordings of classical music?
« Reply #36 on: December 07, 2023, 09:36:22 PM »
anyone can take a better tool and turn out an inferior product. The sonosax preamps are demonstrably better than the vast majority of their competitors and in the right hands turn out clearly better product.

Gold plated hdmi cables are a way to take money from idiots.
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Offline gaijin

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Re: Sample Sonosax recordings of classical music?
« Reply #37 on: December 07, 2023, 10:37:53 PM »
anyone can take a better tool and turn out an inferior product. The sonosax preamps are demonstrably better than the vast majority of their competitors and in the right hands turn out clearly better product.

Gold plated hdmi cables are a way to take money from idiots.


While I agree the gold hdmi take was overly hyperbolic, for the avoidance of doubt, could I ask for a bit of clarity around "turn out clearly better product"?

Can you give an example of comps one can listen to where (with all other variables as closely aligned as is humanly possible), a Sonosax device turned out a clearly better product? 

Where is the line drawn?  The guy has Schoeps mics and MixPre6-ii.  Point blank, will he get "clearly better product" by swapping the MixPre out for the Sonosax?  I say unlikely... 

Better yet, as opposed to the typical fluffy interpretive dance of nerdspeak along the lines of "soundstage, presence, richness, tonality, fullness, blah, blah" (which are clearly subjective even in their meaning based on a huge percentage of comp results available on this board), can you point to some quantifiable, consistent proof of this better product (ideally taking a scientific method approach to the analysis)?  I cannot, and I've looked.  Plently.  I'd love to buy a shiny new Swedish toy, but not with a debatably nominal benefit over a $250 F3. 

Yes, "professional engineers" to tell us the excellence that we should be hearing in the Sonosax (in theory) are a dimeadozen.  As with anything in life, reinforced by the experts, droves of allegiant fans line up on the side of their team.  In practice / the real world though, I have never found anyone who can give consistent evidence of that.  I'm looking for something more concrete before I chase what were accurately referred to here as "diminishing returns" (and I personally think that is being generous).  Seems like this guy is too. 

By the way, I've got my Krona ready in hand...
« Last Edit: December 07, 2023, 10:41:31 PM by gaijin »

Offline grawk

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Re: Sample Sonosax recordings of classical music?
« Reply #38 on: December 07, 2023, 11:21:01 PM »
cool, don’t chase the admittedly diminishing returns. Upgrade your microphones before the preamp/recorder for sure regardless. the f3 is a capable device that can produce a fantastic recording.
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Offline goodcooker

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Re: Sample Sonosax recordings of classical music?
« Reply #39 on: December 08, 2023, 12:00:16 PM »

It is truly laughable that people have commented here with "don't worry about Sonosax just get a Zoom".

@gaijin - I understand that you, for whatever reason, want "a scientific method approach to the analysis" but music doesn't work that way. Specs on paper don't tell the whole story. I agree that a lot of the "audiophile speak" that folks use to justify their sale (or purchase) of gear sounds a little goofy with terms that are not quantifiable with metrics but are instead very subjective to the listener.

If the guy wants to spend a shitload on upgrading his Sound Devices recorder to go with his multiple pairs of Schoeps mics to record his opera performances I don't know that it really germane to the topic to debate at length whether it's worth it over a Zoom F3.

You say there are comps to back up your position and that you have in fact used some Sonosax gear. Can you point the OP in the direction of some samples so he can hear for himself? That's what he came here for. Some samples.

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Offline voltronic

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Re: Sample Sonosax recordings of classical music?
« Reply #40 on: December 08, 2023, 03:31:52 PM »
Give me [controlled ABX testing], or give me [conjecture]!
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Offline grawk

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Re: Sample Sonosax recordings of classical music?
« Reply #41 on: December 08, 2023, 03:44:42 PM »
those are a test of playback as much as anything else.
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Offline aaronji

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Re: Sample Sonosax recordings of classical music?
« Reply #42 on: December 08, 2023, 04:14:19 PM »
Give me [controlled ABX testing], or give me [conjecture]!

I think very much in this way. Heck, as a scientist, I was trained to do so. I have come to realize, though, that, as a taper, sometimes I want a particular piece of gear without a performance-based metric for it. A prime example is my Aerco MP-2. I just wanted the thing, maybe for its history and rustic appearance (although, to be fair, it sounds awesome and pairs well with my DPAs), even though there were other options. I tend to think mic preferences are the same. Some people just like the Schoeps or DPA or Neumann or AKG sound, even if they are all generally pretty excellent (if DPA didn't exist I would be happy with one of the others). 

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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Sample Sonosax recordings of classical music?
« Reply #43 on: December 08, 2023, 04:31:21 PM »
Agreed. Find a methodology for deciding that satisfies on-going self-questioning.  Could be comps or recordings made by others, suggestions, your own tests, or reading the tea-leaves in the bottom of the cup.

Sonosax - the "24k gold plated HDMI cable" of field recorders... Just can't bring myself to drink the Kool aid, even when someone as wise and experienced as Gutbucket has told us repeatedly that we should.

I do like Sonosax preamps and have pretty consistently heard a difference through them in well controlled comps (which I can only describe in subjective nerdspeak as "a somehow more lush dimensional depth in the stereo image", more than anything tonal).  They are well respected and make top quality gear.  Regardless, I don't own any Sonosax preamps myself, mostly for practical and cost reasons.. not because I cant discern any difference or don't like the sound, but because I found better practical value elsewhere based on my goals and the way I choose to operate.  Its an assessment of how to achieve the results I want within the constraints of practicality and cost. I'm primarily of the "microphones and how they are used and interact with each other is the most important and interesting part of concert recording" camp, and put most of my focus there.  All the other stuff mostly needs to work correctly in a sufficiently transparent way. 

TL;DR-
In doing my own comparative testing over the years I found I got greater value via multichannel microphone arrays plugged directly into the  preamps built into good-quality modern recorders, than by using a single top-quality stereo pair or two through higher quality external preamps, and in practical terms and cost-wise I can't do both.  Folks are welcome to disagree with that assessment and I'm sure many do, which is perfectly fine by me - to each his own.  I found I could more consistently achieve a similar or greater "lush dimensional depth in the stereo image" (the aspects I found I valued most in the Sonosax preamps), in addition to other benefits, with greater flexibility, less practical problems, and at about the same cost. I came to see that choice as a basic and appropriate trade off in how I go about taping - increasing the complication of the array while eliminating external preamps, extra interconnect cabling, powering requirements, and additional gear to haul.  I mention all this mostly to explain the logic behind my own decision and path forward, not to try and convince anyone to do the same.  I recognize that my path is an oddball one not widely applicable to most others.
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Sample Sonosax recordings of classical music?
« Reply #44 on: December 08, 2023, 11:51:36 PM »
those are a test of playback as much as anything else.

Sure, and also the perception and discernment of the listener. But at least you're minimizing variables on the other end.
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